When I first told my significant other the name of this site, he quickly pointed out that it sounds “sexist” and certainly counter to the goal of this venture. A Navy trumpet instrumentalist himself, he understands the culture of military bands from his own perspective, as do we all. Simply I chose the name of this site to reflect the challenges we all face(d) in deciding – consciously or not – to conform to a male-dominated culture or to define our own way. Many of us share the experience of playing concerts and being referred to as any number of non-P.C. terms by audience members. Take your pick of terms: babes, girls, ladies, chicks, etc. etc. etc….Even if we are okay with these labels, they still relegate us to a category in need of proving itself worthy of musical participation if only in the eyes of a slice of our audiences. We are left to use our “horns” (or voices) to make the case for our equal participation. This site is not meant to trash our male counterparts. On the contrary! The hope is for as many of our stories to be shared so that our contributions are not erased. We could approach the same idea of complicating the contextual cultural fabric of military music from many different angles; but as this is the final project for a class in Women in Music, I have chosen to focus specifically on the experiences of women. That said, I do not want to stop the work of collecting stories after I finish the course. I want you all to think of this site as OURS. It is a forum, a repository, and above all, a single location for all female military musicians of the past and present to converse.
At the risk of sounding trite, let the journey begin!